Toronto Maple Leafs Promote Women’s Hockey Great to Assistant GM

Hayley Wickenheiser assistant general manager
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have made another step in making hockey more inclusive for women. News broke Tuesday morning that women’s hockey great Hayley Wickenheiser has been hired as assistant general manager. Wickenheiser had been working in the team’s front office as head of player development. Ryan Hardy and Darryl Metcalf were also promoted to assistant GM roles.

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Hayley Wickenheiser Becomes Leafs Assistant GM

Wickenheiser is a person of many talents, as she’s one of the greatest women’s hockey players of all-time. She’s also a doctor and an Olympian in softball. She won four Olympic golds and women’s hockey and seven IIHF World Championships. The Saskatchewan-born great was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2019.

The 43-year-old is a trailblazer on the ice, but gets to do so off the ice as well. She’s joins Meghan Hunter in Chicago as well as Cammi Granato and Emilie Castonguay in Vancouver in assistant GM roles.

An assistant general manager job can be a good conduit to becoming a full-time general manager. The NHL has yet to have a woman in the role of general manager. However, moves like the ones above might be a gateway to breaking that barrier. Wickenheiser seems like a solid choice to be in the running to checking off that box.

What it Means

It’s a big day for inclusiveness in the NHL today. Mike Grier is on the edge of becoming the first black general manager. Jessica Campbell will be the first female AHL assistant coach with the Seattle Kraken’s affiliate.

The motto is “Hockey is for everyone” may have been drafted in a board room. However, it’s getting some serious practice today. The NHL is trying to move forward and be more diverse. These moves are helping that become a reality.

We’ll see how Wickenheiser does in a pressure-packed market like Toronto. However, she’s a big game player and that may translate over to the front office.